It might be six weeks later than expected, but Cadel Evans is showingform at the Vuelta a Espana many had hoped he would deliver at the TourdeFrance, writes Mike Tomalaris.
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7 Apr 2015 - 11:32 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:36 PM

It might be six weeks later than expected, but Cadel Evans is showing form at the Vuelta a Espana many had hoped he would deliver at the Tour de
France.

Evans seems to have a liking for the three week Spanish endurance race
and I guess it's because there's less pressure and he doesn't have to
carry the burden of global scrutiny that he experienced in France.

Unlike
this year's Tour when Evans struggled on and off the bike, there are no
reports of personality clashes with Silence-Lotto teammates or management.

It's possible that he is now both mentally and physically tougher than most of his rivals for the Tour experience.

And judging by comments on his personal website, he genuinely seems happy and content within himself.

In
fact there seems to be unity and harmony within the ranks, and it was encouraging to see Matt Lloyd stick by his captain on the
critical mountain pass to the finish at Alto di Aitana after such a
gruelling day of continuous climbing - these were the images missing at the Tour.

Evans
and Silence-Lotto ultimately lost their chance for the Tour in the
stage four team time trial - it was a performance from which they never
recovered.

Perhaps Evans can be thankful the teams event is not on the 2009 Vuelta's itinerary.

After
eight stages everything has gone to plan for the Australian - from the
opening stage prologue to the flat roads of the Netherlands, Germany
and Belgium before the long transfer and the race's resumption on Spanish
roads, Evans has been within striking distance of his rivals on every
occasion.

And what about all the talk about Evans leaving Silence-Lotto at the end of the year?

Six
weeks is a long time in professional cycling and if you're winning, as
he currently is doing, the team environment and dynamics also changes
dramatically.

As I look into my crystal ball, these are the
possible headlines after the Vuelta finishes - "Evans signs another three year deal at Silence-Lotto"

Wherever he decides to go in 2010 is entirely up to him, of course.

But
judging by the way he is racing in Spain so far, here's hoping he stays
safe and healthy, continuous his winning ways, and triumphs as the
first Australian to win a Grand Tour.